How did people sleep before electric lights and clean sheets?
December 8, 2010
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There is this quick NY Times piece that discusses what may be natural sleep patterns with bi-modal sleep:
Longer historical article on various sleep in pre-industrial Britain and Europe more broadly. It has some interesting literary references even back to Homer http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/106.2/ah000343.html
There is even some thought about sleep posture in this medical journal based on primate studies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1119282/
Finally, there is a detailed discussion of sleep customs in 10 preindustrial societies in a range of different environments and lifestyles by Carol Worthman with a particular attention to children and environmental factors that influence sleep practices: https://webdrive.service.emory.edu/groups/research/lchb/PUBLICATIONS%20Worthm…